40th Anniversary: Remembering, Transforming and Recommitting
“One day at the very moment that the signal was given for the beginning of prayer, and, kneeling in my place in choir, my soul was suddenly ravished: God, the Three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity, manifested God’s own self to me. I received the impression of words from the Most Adorable Word Incarnate, ‘If anyone loves me, my Father will love him; we will come to him and make our dwelling within him.’ [Jn 14:21] This impression effected in me exactly what these words say. The action of the Most Holy Trinity in me was more eminent than before. Both the words and the action granted me understanding and penetrated my soul, and, the Holy Trinity in God’s unity seized my heart as his very own, the one whom he had prepared for this moment of union and divine action said, ‘I, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, give myself to you in order to possess your whole soul.’ The effect of this revelation was immediate as the Three Divine Persons took possession of me.” [Claude Martin, Life of Marie of the Incarnation, Book Two, Chapter III, Claude was St. Marie’s Son]
St. Marie of the Incarnation, missionary and foundress of the Québec Ursuline Monastery in 1639, from an early age abandoned herself to Divine Providence. Her journey in life was circuitous as she followed the path Christ had chosen for her. As wife and mother she helped direct her husband’s business; as widow and mother she entered into a time of contemplation before embracing the challenge of her brother-in-law’s thriving business. She not only took the lead in negotiating with current and prospective clients, she managed his employees making certain that they and their families were justly paid and supported in their needs, spiritual and medical. All the while, she spent nights in prayer begging the Most Holy Trinity for union with her love, Jesus. This grace was granted her. Marie’s ultimate goal was to one day become a religious so that she could serve God without the distractions of her family’s business. At last that day came and she entered the Ursuline Monastery in Tours, France, a new foundation just a few yards away from her home. Within a short time, however, Marie, along with a small group of sisters, sailed for New France, Québec, in order to serve the native peoples and the few French settlers living there. Hours of contemplation in the monastery fell out of her purview but her immense love for the Most Holy Trinity was never dampened. Although Marie lived the extremely busy life of the new mission, she maintained complete union with her Spouse, Jesus Christ, and labored under the protection of Divine Providence. Marie was tireless for God’s mission; her heart belonged to God and her love for God’s children never wavered.
So, today, as I prepare for the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, I pray to you, my God, for a heart whose every beat is one of adoration and praise. I pray for the resolve to run along the path you have laid out for me and to respond generously to the challenges of my daily obligations, my relationships and my concerns. Today, I reflect upon St. Marie’s unselfish gift of her whole being for the sake of your honor and glory and for the good of others. Taking her example, I offer myself as she did. O Most Holy Trinity, I pray this mantra with deep love for you:
All honor and glory and praise belong to You O my God!
Daily my heart turns,
Ablaze my soul burns
With intense zeal
To adore, honor and praise
To absorb Your Word and reveal
Humbly, quietly, Your redemptive ways!
All honor and glory and praise belong to You O my God:
Abba Jesus Spiritus!